2024 AGM Minutes and Constitution


Chairman’s opening remarksJim Duffy welcomed members, guests, and the speaker for the evening, Peter Holman, and his wife Tricia.

Apologies for absence - Apologies had been received from Hilary Miles, David and Marion Branson and Kate Leese.

Minutes of last AGM and Matters Arising

Jim summarised the main points discussed at the last AGM, and the Minutes were approved and signed. Jill Wilson confirmed that the Business Reserve Account had been closed and the funds transferred to our current account, as agreed at the last AGM.

TREASURER'S REPORT for year ended 31st March 2024

Many thanks to David Branson for kindly examining the annual accounts for us once again.   His willingness to do so, and the guidance he provides, is very much appreciated.  


Whereas, last year, there was an overall loss of £10, we ended this year with a profit of £654.   Contributory factors were: 


  • a profit of £208 from the musical evening on 6th December with Gwendal Moële and “Resonate”.


  • £110 raised from the raffle at the “After Christmas Lunch”.


  • £100 received from NatWest bank as compensation for poor service received.


  • A saving of over £200 on church hire costs following the decision to hold monthly rather than fortnightly meetings.


Without these factors, our profit would have been reduced to £10!    Your committee will therefore continue to monitor income and expenses carefully, especially as an increase in church hire costs is anticipated in September, following the improvement in facilities provided.


A review of the accounts for 2023/24 shows that, with 40 members, subscription income at £925 was virtually unchanged.   Visitors’ fees had increased largely as a result of the success of the 6th December concert when, because of high costs anticipated, we charged visitors £8 and members £4.   Income from donations and fundraising reflects the continued generosity of our members.   Also featured is the transfer of £685 to our current account following the closure of our Business Reserve Account, as agreed at last year’s AGM.


Fees for speakers and those providing musical entertainment have increased this year compared to last. Expenditure on administration and miscellaneous items remains broadly the same.   The latter includes publicity which will be shown as a separate item in next year’s accounts.


During the year, arrangements were made by Jane Davidson for her to have a debit card, and for online banking to be introduced, which has already proved very useful.  Thanks are due to Jane for making these arrangements, and for her tireless efforts in achieving compensation payments from NatWest because of deficiencies in service provided.   (The first such payment is the £100 mentioned above.   The second payment of £250, received on 5th April 2024, will be included in next year’s accounts.)


Because of our relatively healthy financial situation at present, your committee have decided to keep the annual subscription unchanged at £25.   Payment is now due, ideally by bank transfer please, but those preferring to pay by cheque or cash will be able to do so at the end of the evening.


Finally, I should like to remind you to advise us if your contact details have changed, and it’s also a good idea to provide us with details of the person you would like us to contact in the event of an emergency, if you have not already done so.   Thank you.

Annual accounts were approved....proposed by Pauline Bonser, seconded by Jonathan Palmer

Jim had issued a “Message from The Chairman” to all members in the week of the AGM.

He commented positively on the year-end results and the generally favourable feedback for our programme for the year.

Jim referred to the issues discussed at the last AGM.

The change to monthly meetings had been implemented and had been well received.

Increased charges for visitors to the Christmas concert had helped our financial results.

Better promotion of our activities had helped to grow our membership.

We had also introduced some extra activities other than the monthly meetings alone: the January lunch, the upcoming Secret Garden lunch, and a proposed Pétanque event.

It continued to be a challenge to balance our programme between French and English language presentations.

These changes had been implemented and received the broad approval of the meeting.

Jim said he was willing to serve in the role of Chairman for a further year, subject to the members’ wishes.


Election of Officers and Committee

John Bowers was retiring from the committee after serving for a number of years. Jim thanked John and presented him with a gift in recognition of his contribution.

Jim invited anyone willing to serve on the committee to contact him or another committee member.

Jane Davidson was elected to the committee. Proposed by Jill, seconded by Pauline. She will continue her very valuable role of overseeing our publicity, and our website.

The Chairman and other officers were willing to continue. The re-election of the committee was approved by the meeting. Proposed by Austin Baines, seconded by John Bowers.



Any Other Business

Items discussed were the upcoming lunch at The Secret Garden at Sudbury, the proposed game of Pétanque, and a programme of French songs to be performed by Daniela Bechly at the Old House Barn, Great Horkesley. These were approved by the meeting, the latter with a show of hands.



1. The name of the organisation is the Colchester Anglo-French Circle.

2. The object of the Circle is to promote and enjoy all things French.

3. Membership is open to all who are interested in France and the French way of life.

4. The Circle is managed by a committee of members consisting of the following officers:
chairman and treasurer, as well as elected members of the Circle. Committee members will
be elected, or for those already on the committee re-elected, at the AGM, and will normally
serve for three years.

5. An annual subscription is charged, as agreed by the full committee, and endorsed at the
AGM. The subscription shall be paid for one year and payment is due at the AGM.

6. Visitors are charged a nominal fee, as agreed by the committee.

7. A General Meeting of the Circle is held every year not later than eight weeks after the end of
the financial year on 31 st March, to transact the following business:

    a) Receive and, if approved, adopt the Circle’s chairman’s report.

    b) Receive and, if approved, adopt the Circle’s accounts for the year ending 31 st

    c) Appoint someone to examine the accounts.

    d) Appoint officers and other members of the committee.

    e) Deal with any special matters the committee wishes to discuss with members.

    f) Amend the Constitution if necessary.

8. The chairman will preside at the AGM and will have a casting vote in the event of votes
being equal.

9. At committee meetings the chairman will preside and will have a casting or additional vote
in the event of votes being equal. In the absence of the chairman, a committee member
will be chosen from those present to act on the chairman’s behalf.

10. Three members will form a quorum at committee meetings and ten at general meetings.

11. A majority of two thirds of those present at general meetings is needed to agree an
amendment to the constitution.

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